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February so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Owner: squiz

Member#: 6644
Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1852

2nd September 2019
Hiking - Walking: National Trust – Chartwell
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Monday 2nd September – walk ***** National Trust – Chartwell – sunny periods.

We are going away for a few weeks in our lovely little VW van, not abroad this time as we are starting off heading down to Surrey to look after the Grandson Arlo for a couple of days. We are taking the bikes but choosing what windsurfing gear to take was harder as I hope to have a couple of sessions at Weymouth. After a couple of good foiling sessions in the last two days I was hoping to take my foiling kit but after putting the top box on the van there was no way I could fit the super wide Starboard Formula board on so put my F2 Ride 115 and Fanatic Falcon 80 on with four sail 5.8 to 7.8 which might be the right decision as I might get some decent wind for a couple of days next week:) With the van loaded we were in no great hurry so a quick trip up town and then dropping in at Lidl on the way out of Felixstowe. The usual boring start on the dreadful A 12 and M 25 eating snacks as we went, then just after the Dartford crossing with me getting tired Mag had an inspired idea, she checked the map and saw that Chartwell was only 6 miles off the M 25! As National Trust members, a fantastic present, we are trying to visit at least one of their sites once a month! We pulled into the car park at Chartwell, Winston Churchills family home, at 3 o clock and managed to find a spot and what a beautiful setting this is:) With our membership cards scanned (another £35 off our running total of the cost for the year and we are now in credit:) We only had a couple of hours to explore but had been given a time slot to visit the house at 3.50 and were advised to check out the gardens and Winston’s art studio. The gardens were stunning with fantastic views down across the valley with woodland and lakes. You pass the swimming pool, past ponds full of golden orfe and the whole place just reeks history and you can’t believe that one of history’s most iconic figures lived here! The studio was amazing too, just brim full of his painting and art materials, it felt like Winston had just popped back to the house for a cuppa and would be back at any minute! It was then down to the large lake with its scary Black Swans, past the life size Nemon Statue of Winston and Clementine and back up to the house. We are not usually ones for old houses but this was just amazing and in nearly every room it was exactly how it was when Winston and Clementine lived there with their five children! The rooms were full of personal photos, gifts from foreign dignitaries, his clothes, hats and cigars with a National Trust volunteer in every room to impart their knowledge, we loved every minute! We then took five minutes sitting on the chairs on the grassy veranda with a top view down to the lake and were joined by a big fluffy cat! We then just had time to visit the stunning large walled kitchen garden. We admire Winston’s brick laying, look at Mary Cot a small cottage for the children built into the wall and the planting was fantastic too with a mix of vegetables and flowers. A quick look at Lady Churchill's Rose Garden before heading back to the van for a well-deserved cuppa. We are loving our NT membership and will definitely continue it next year!

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National Trust,Chartwell

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